When we go on vacation, we all want as much spare cash as we can affordably budget to spend on food, touring and souvenirs. But in many circumstances, the airfare and hotel bills take the greatest chunk of money, leaving a mere pittance to play with. It seems, however, that nowadays, there are ways to book vacations to help you budget and save money. The internet has provided a transparent view of what different tour companies and hotels offer. And sometimes, this can be to your benefit because if you do your research, you are bound to find a good deal.
To help you out, though, here are eight tips for booking a cheaper hotel room.
#1 Off-Times At Business Hotels
Often, if a hotel caters to business conferences and business travelers, it has down times such as on the weekends, holidays and certain periods of the year. It is during these off-times that you can usually find some great deals. This kind of discount is quite common in Europe.
#2 Call the Hotel Directly
As you know, most hotels are going to have a toll-free reservation number to make it easy for you to telephone and to encourage you to book right away. Sometimes, these lines go to call centers and the people there are not authorized to offer anything other than the stated booking price. If you call the hotel directly, they have a better idea of what is available and might be able to provide you with upgrades, added perks, and other bonuses, including possibly, a discount.
#3 Last Minute Deals
A number of years ago, all kinds of companies opened up trying to service the segment of the market looking for last minute deals. If you can travel on short notice, you might benefit from cancellations for hotel rooms that now have reduced fares. Since the hotel needs to have the highest occupancy available, they will decrease the price of the stay.
#4 Off the Beaten Path
If you are only sleeping at the hotel and not worried about fancy amenities, look for establishments off the main route. Of course, you are still interested in cleanliness and safety, but there are many smaller hotels or even bed and breakfast houses that would be much cheaper than a larger brand name hotel.
#5 Use Apps
If you have a cell phone, install a couple apps that find cheaper hotel rooms for you. Some even go as far as refunding your rate if you find a cheaper place than they did.
#6 Coupon Codes
This type of promotion is not highly publicized, but we check for everything we do online. Basically, if you are looking to buy something at a particular merchant, you type “coupon code + merchant name” into a search engine. If any are available, the search results will return a list of sites where you can get the code, how much it is worth, and what you have to do to get it. Once you choose a code, then you type it the box when booking your room.
But please be careful here. Don’t buy anything to get the coupon code. At that point, it is not a savings at all. Also, look for current codes. Many are expired. And lastly, leave a site if it seems like it has no coupon codes but just tried to get you to their site. The good part about these type of coupons is that there are some really great deals out there with sizeable savings.
#7 Avoid Required Meals
Unless you are purchasing an all-inclusive vacation, avoid booking at hotels that require you to buy meal tickets. These are going to be much more expensive than if you paid for your own meals at your place of choosing. Plus, you don’t want to be locked into their schedules and menus. Of course, getting breakfast free is a nice bonus that most people welcome!
#8 Beware Of Added Fees
There are some locations that now charge what are called Resort Fees. Be sure that you understand exactly how much this is going to cost you. For example, some hotels are charging cleaning fees, pool fees, and other charges for sundries that are included at most destinations.
Here’s another traveler’s take on finding cheap hotel rooms.